U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has issued policy guidance, effective October 29, 2019, and applicable prospectively to applications filed on or after that date, that defines “residence” and clarifies distinctions between U.S. residence and physical presence. USCIS is changing its policy regarding eligibility for U.S. citizenship of children born to U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members employed or stationed outside the United States.
Specifically, the guidance:
- Clarifies that temporary visits to the United States do not establish U.S. residence and explains the distinction between residence and physical presence in the United States
- Explains that USCIS no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring U.S. citizenship under INA 320.
USCIS said it is rescinding the prior USCIS policy permitting children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members stationed outside of the United States to be considered “residing in” the United States. The changes also will affect the ability of U.S.-born citizens to transmit citizenship to children if they do not meet the more restrictive test for residing in the United States.